Thought we’d start off this blog with a feature called “Finger of Scorn” (If you get the reference, then you’re totally thrashin’). It will be a weeklong series of posts wherein we’ll post a short and sweet review of a specific band’s releases.
The first band we’ll feature is the ultra-obscure Japanese NWOBHM progenitors Gorgon.
Gorgon are the very definition of underground cult legends. They have been active since the mid-90’s, but never released a full length, instead opting to release a bucket load of EPs & singles as their NWOBHM idols did back in the day. They also hardly play any shows and remain relatively inactive for long periods of time. If it wasn’t for Gezol and Neal Tanaka constantly promoting the band, nobody outside of Nippon would have probably heard of them. They worship at the altar of traditional Heavy Metal and wear their influences on their shoulders, they aren’t trying to invent some new sub-genre or reinvent the wheel, they just want to play hard rockin’ heavy metal the way they like it and it is at its purest. What I love about Gorgon is the heart and passion they exert towards their art. Take Shigeyuki Koide’s vocals for instance which aren’t exactly what one would consider to be good due to the Engrish, hilarious pronunciation & lack of range or even rhythm at times, but that’s part of the charm if you ask me. Heck, Shigeyuki is probably fully aware that he isn’t the greatest vocalist out there, but I don’t think he actually gives a shit, which makes it even more awesome! These guys have basically got the right attitude which unfortunately most metal bands lack (definitely the majority of the mainstream ones for sure).
The first record we’ll look at is the “Savage the Fox” single. You may immediately recognize that the cover is reminiscent of Bashful Alley’s “Running Blind” single. Gorgon not only paid tribute to them by having a similar cover with a sketch of the band members against a mustard yellow background on this release, but also covered “Running Blind” on their self-titled EP (which we’ll be cover sometime this week).
This single contains two tracks, the B-side being a cover of the mighty Crucifixion. The original track “Savage” is pure traditional heavy metal awesomeness. A rocking intro paves the way for a pretty cool melodic main riff. Shigeyuki’s scream signals the beginning of the chorus where he proudly proclaims “I am savage, I am savage through the night”… Yes, English isn’t exactly their strong point, but who gives a shit! The twin guitar solo duel rounds off what could be considered one of Gorgon’s average songs at least in my opinion, as I believe their material on the other records far surpasses this one.
Their Crucifixion cover on the B-side on the other hand is quite awesome, which is definitely helped by the fact that you can’t ruin an already brilliant song (unless you’re completely incompetent). The song belongs on every biker montage you’ve ever seen with its energetic V-Twin powered main riff. There really isn’t much to say about the cover as it’s almost identical to the original and remains unchanged structurally.
I wouldn’t consider this as one of Gorgon’s essential releases, but if you do come across it for a good price and love NWOBHM and/or Gorgon, then you’d be doing yourself a favor by picking it up.
Next Gorgon release we’ll be talking about is the “Back Street Killer” single.